URGENT: FAA Seeks Important Information from T-6 Owners/Operators
Deadline for submissions is June 4
The FAA has turned to members of associations like EAA Warbirds of America and type clubs to gather information relating to T-6 aircraft in the wake of a fatal accident caused by an apparent wing failure in Florida on May 9.
At issue are potential wing failures on the vintage advanced primary WWII trainers following the fatal crash of an SNJ-6 owned and operated by Warbird Adventures in Kissimmee. Preliminary examination of the wreckage shows a fatigue crack on the inboard lower center wing attach angle, which initiated in the radius of the angle.
The FAA says it has learned of a similar accident in 1975 on a South African Air Force aircraft. The SAAF ordered immediate and subsequent 200-hour penetrant inspections of the wing attach angles,. The FAA is considering adopting the 200-hour inspections.
This situation may also have an impact on future airworthiness issues for other vintage aircraft types.
FAA’s Airworthiness Concern Sheet (ACS) asks its Safety Engineers to coordinate their airworthiness concerns with T-6 owner/operators through associations and type clubs. They’re seeking information about maintenance history of the critical parts involved (inboard lower center wing attach angle), as well as proposed alternative inspection/repair procedures and their associated costs.
Owners/operators are also asked to provide any other specific comments they feel are necessary, including specific examples to illustrate comments/concerns.
FAA has not determined what type if corrective action should be taken, be it an Airworthiness Directive or a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB), or the FAA could determine that no action is needed at this time. Final determination will depend in part on the information received in response to the ACS.
EAA has offered to collect comments and send to the FAA as a courtesy to T-6 owners/operators. Please submit comments no later than June 4, 2005, to Earl Lawrence, EAA vice president of government programs, via e-mail at email@example.com; or fax – 920/426-6560. Mailing address is: 3000 Poberezny Road, Oshkosh, WI, 54903-3086.